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M.S. Youth Development Leadership (online, non-thesis)

Prospective Students

The Youth Development Leadership faculty welcomed new M.S. Online Youth Development Leadership students for a campus orientation visit in August 2018.

The Youth Development Leadership faculty welcomed new M.S. Online Youth Development Leadership students for a campus orientation visit in August 2018.

Welcome to the youth development leadership M.S. degree program. The program is designed to equip students with the competencies, knowledge and skills to help young people develop into healthy, competent, coping and contributing citizens. This program prepares students to address issues facing youth in the context of family and community with an emphasis on positive outcomes through a dynamic learning environment.

M.S. online Youth Development Leadership degree students with faculty  returning to the Clemson campus for their second year two – day visit.

Students (pictured with faculty) return to the Clemson campus for a second-year, two-day visit. These students made class presentations in their youth development programs class, attended a research forum, attended the annual YDL Second Year Student Banquet and began to build their professional e-portfolios. Student awards were presented at the research forum and the banquet.

The M.S. in youth development leadership program is an interdisciplinary degree primarily involving departments and units in the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences but also including academic areas from other colleges and units at the University. This program is designed to meet the needs of students who are also working professionals. Read recent graduates' testimonials and samples of e-portfolios on how they were prepared for career readiness.

All courses are offered in an accelerated format and are delivered through a variety of asynchronous and synchronous distance education technologies. Minimum technology requirements for this program include access to email and the internet. Students admitted for an August start come to campus for two days of on-campus orientation during the first week of the semester. Each cohort begins the first course, Foundations of Youth Development, while on campus for orientation. Students come to campus during their second year for two days in April for research activities.



Students take one course at a time for seven weeks, allowing working professionals to focus on one course at a time. The duration of the program is the same as most traditional masters programs, two years.

The Youth Development Leadership graduate program has partnerships with youth-related agencies/organizations and engages them in learning and experiential opportunities for students.

The Youth Development Leadership program is designed to:

  1. Empower students to focus on strengths and assets within the context of family and community that will promote positive youth development
  2. Identify and examine physical, emotional, environmental, and social issues related to being a young person in today's society
  3. Prepare professional educators and leaders at all program and management levels for careers in schools, agencies, institutions, and community groups that serve youth
  4. Train new and current professionals to be well prepared with increased knowledge and enhanced skills in the youth development are
  5. Prepare leaders who will have an immediate impact on youth development in South Carolina and around the nation
  6. Link formal and non-formal prevention and intervention youth programs to enhance the learning experience for students
  7. Enhance youth serving agencies and organizations by preparing professionals who are competent in child and adolescent growth and development, grant writing, and youth program assessment

Program Requirements

The Master of Science in Youth Development requires 36 semester hours of coursework as follows:

  • PADM 8410 Public Data Analysis 3 (3)
  • YDP 8000 Theories of Youth Development: An Applied Perspective 3 (3)
  • YDP 8010 Child and Adolescent Development 3 (3)
  • YDP 8020 Youth Development Programming in a Contemporary Society 3 (3)
  • YDP 8030 Creative and Ethical Leadership in a Changing Society 3 (3)
  • YDP 8040 Assessment and Evaluation of Youth Programs 3 (3)
  • YDP 8050 Youth Development in the Context of Family 3 (3)
  • YDP 8060 Youth Development in the Context of a Global and Diverse Society 3 (3)
  • YDP 8080 Grantsmanship 3 (3)
  • YDP 8090 Management of Staff and Volunteers 3 (3)
  • YDP 8880 Special Topics in Youth Development Leadership 3 (3)
  • YDP 8890 Independent Study in Youth Development 1-6 (1-6)
  • YDP 8900 The Profession of Youth Development Leadership 3 (3)

*These courses may be substituted for YDP 8880 and YDP 8900 for those who seek more research experience or preparation for a doctoral program.

Download M.S. Youth Development Leadership Course Descriptions

Admission Requirements**

A complete application packet should include:

  • Proof of a baccalaureate degree with a minimum grade-point ratio of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale
  • A GRE score is not required but is recommended for those who believe it will strengthen their application
  • A personal statement and two letters of reference
  • Resume
  • Undergraduate degree transcripts
  • Experience in the field of youth development is preferred